KARLA: Kevin Frost, a DeafBlind man, got into an Uber car, and was denied a ride because of his service dog, Lewis.
KEVIN: I’ve had, the first driver who approached me saw my service guide dog, and he said “sorry, no dogs allowed in my car” and he just drove off.
The other two ince-- incidents a few weeks later had some commonality, I approached the car, the taxi or the Uber and they just said “sorry, no dogs in my car,” they were consistent and I just said no, I said I want you to know that he’s a service guide dog, there’s a, uh, a blind guide dog act in effect, [and] that you can be charged. And I just sat in the car and both drivers on both occasions kinda just argued with me all the way and I would just try to educate them the laws. And so it make it uh, very uncomfortable to have these experiences.
KARLA: Now, Uber Canada developed a new policy on how drivers need to handle customers with service animals.
The policy states that if drivers refuse to give rides to those with service animals, those drivers will be discharged. The new policy left some disability rights advocates concerned, because the policy came with exemptions. This means they could have a doctor’s note stating they’re allergic to dogs.
Kevin will explain what he want Uber to understand about having a service dog, or being DeafBlind.
KEVIN: I think what’s really important now is they be consistent with it for the next year, educating their drivers monthly and the users know about it because the more they do it, they’re going to have less incidents. My concern is a week later it might be all forgotten. So it needs to be uh, [inaudible: up to date?] to create these problems from happening again.
I’m hoping Uber will take this experience and maybe put this-- put these experiences in their policy to educate future drivers and drivers who are on the road now so these incidents don’t happen. It takes away a lot of your freedom when you have these uh, tough confrontation so I’m hoping they’re learning something from this.
KARLA: I want to thank you, Kevin for sharing with us. So, what are your thoughts?